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How to test a fiber patch cable using a hand held optical power meter? (video)


Handheld optical power meter in stock at Fosco. Order it here:

Hand Held Optical Power Meter


In this video, we are introducing one portable hand held optical power meter.

Let's turn it on. We can press the "Light" button to turn on the LED backlighting to see the screen display better.

It also has an auto-shutoff feature. We can press the "Auto Off" button once to turn on this feature, an "auto off" symbol is shown on the screen, which means the device will auto shutoff after 10 minutes.

This power meter is pre-calibrated at 7 most common wavelengths: 850nm, 980nm, 1300nm, 1310nm, 1490nm, 1550nm, and 1625nm.

It shows the power measurement in dBm on the second row, and nano Watt on the third row.

So let's use a laser light source to test a fiber jumper cable.

Here is a hand held single mode laser light source. Let's turn it on. Now it is emitting light at 1310nm single mode at steady continuous mode. We can switch it to 270 Hertz pulse mode, 1000 Hertz pulse mode, 2000 Hertz pulse mode, and we are switching it back to 0 Hertz steady continuous mode.

It has two lasers built-in, 1550nm, and 1310nm. We are going use the 1550nm light source. The light source has a FC adapter interface. Let's plug in a FC sigle mode patch cable.

Then plug the other end of the patch cable to the power meter.

The power meter also has a FC adapter interface, but it is interchangable, we will show you how to change it in a minute.

Now let's reference the light source. First, let's make sure we are switching the power meter to 1550nm to match the light source.

It is showing as negative 5.94 dBm. We are goging to set this light source as a reference value at 0 dB. Switch to dB mode, and press the Zero button, and that sets the current power level as 0 dB reference level.

Now let's plug in our jumper cable under test. Plug in one side to the light source adapter, and the other end to the power meter.

Let's make sure the cable is not under any stress. Now the power meter reads as negative 0.1 dB insertion loss.

Now let's reverse the fiber jumper cable connector to make sure both connectors are good. This time, it reads as negative 0.14 dB which is within tolerance.

The power meter has an interchangable adapter, we can take it out, and change to SC/APC adapter. We also have LC adapter to measure LC patch cables.

The power meter has a stand, which makes desktop testing much easier. This power meter has a recharable Lithium battery, which provides 48 hours of continuous working on a single charge.

It comes with a DC adapter to charge the battery. It also has a serial communication port to communicate with your computer. The serial cable is optional and you need to order separately.

This is a very rugged design, light weight, only half a pound, with rubber all around. Very convenient to use at a lower cost.


Handheld optical power meter in stock at Fosco. Order it here:

Hand Held Optical Power Meter

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